à chacun son goût – 'to each his own taste'
Our compost bin, circa 2005, with rusty bed-spring cup holder.
Photo and post by Jenny Stein
This year is different. As co-chair, with Dan Genter, of the FHA Environmental Committee, there is the niggling sense that I should do or say something. Dan and I took on the committee responsibilities a little over a year ago – along with Dan's mom: Terri Thomas. Dan and Terri are die-hard environmentalists. It's both how they are educated and how they choose to earn a living. In contrast, I'm more your run-of-the-mill environmentalist. 'Environmentalist' is not how I define myself and yet this ethos informs many of my daily choices.
My parents were early adopters: organic food, raised-bed gardening. For my entire life I've composted, recycled, and re-used (to the extreme – thank heavens for the re-use area at the head of the dock – without which I'd never get rid of a single thing). These are all actions I take for granted; they are so integral to my life that I rarely give them a second thought.
Is all of my life so laudable? Hardly. I think nothing of flying back and forth from Ireland to Sausalito. I happily eat blueberries out of season. Coffee? Absolutely. But I also enjoy the seasonality of food: the glut of asparagus or sweet corn and tomatoes. I experience first hand that seasonality in the vegetables I grow when in Ireland. The pickling, canning and jam making that my ex-Park Avenue/Manhattan mom took on – along with yoghurt and bread making – are now my own pleasures.
So what am I really trying to say? I think the world is richer for all the variety of people and their interests. If Earth Day floats your boat, go for it. Not to put too fine a spin on it, I think it matters less what it is you choose to do, but that you choose to do something at all.